"Gabriella, can't you just give me the answer?" Troy begged. Gabriella was over at his house. He was her only friend still, well actually he had become her boyfriend, but he was still the only one who talked to her when he didn't have to. They were doing their homework, and Troy wanted Gabriella to tell him the answer to a geometry problem.

"No, Troy," Gabriella giggled. "I gave you a hint about how to find the answer, but that's all I'm gonna do."

"Okay," Troy sighed. But his mind actually wasn't on geometry, it was on something else. "Gabriella," he said suddenly, "I have an idea!"

"An idea on how to figure out the problem or an idea on something else?" asked Gabriella.

"Something else. Since your mom doesn't like you and she's barely home and you get lonely and stuff, how about you come live with me?" Troy suggested.

Gabriella thought for a minute. "Well, that would be nice, but what about your parents? Wouldn't they mind if they had a fourth person living in their house?"

"They could adopt you," Troy pointed out.. "I know it sounds really weird, but it could work. Anyway, you're already

gonna be part of the family someday."

"What do you mean?" Gabriella wondered.

"Well we are getting married someday, right?"

"Troy!" Gabriella smiled, letting out a small laugh as she placed her head in Troy's lap. "We were doing homework and this whole time you were thinking about getting married and stuff?"

"Yeah," Troy answered. "Anyway, my parents said yes about you spending the night here tonight." Gabriella and Troy had sleepovers a lot since Gabriella didn't really like being in a house by herself all the time. Troy's parents let them since they trusted they wouldn't do anything they shouldn't. And they never did. They would both get into Troy's bed, lie down, talk for a little, then go to sleep. Sometimes they would snuggle just a little if it was a cold night or if Gabriella wanted comfort on a day people were being really, really mean to her. On school nights, they wouldn't stay up later than ten.

"Awesome," Gabriella smiled, sitting back up and trying to focus on her homework again. But she couldn't. "Troy,"

she said. "Are you serious about me living here?"

"Of course I am," Troy replied. "I'll go ask my parents now." He stood up and started walking towards his bedroom door. "I'll be right back," he told Gabriella.

Troy just smiled at her and walked downstairs, where both of his parents-Jack and Lucille-were. "Mom, Dad, can you adopt Gabriella?" he asked.

"What?" both of Troy's parents asked at the same time.

"Yeah," Troy said. "She basically lives here already and her mom doesn't want anything to do with her pretty much, so can you?"

"Troy, that costs a lot of money," Lucille pointed out. "And we can't just take someone else's daughter."

"But her mom doesn't care about her. No one cares about her except me. And you both do, too, I think," Troy said.

"Yeah," Lucille confirmed. "Gabriella's a nice girl and we already try to treat her as if she were our own daughter, especially since I hear you talking about marrying her someday."

"Um...that was.....just a....thought?"

Both of Troy's parents laughed. "What about her dad?" Jack wanted to know.

"She never talks about her dad. I don't know if she's even met him before," Troy acknowledged.

"Well I know you really like Gabriella, so maybe we can work something out. But we can't just take over someone else's daughter. It's illegal," Lucille told her son.

"And do you have proof that Gabriella's mom doesn't want anything to do with her?" Jack asked.

"From what she told me, it sounds like it," Troy answered.

"Well we'll see," Lucille promised. "But for now, just let her spend the night."

"Okay," Troy agreed reluctantly. He really wanted Gabriella to live at his house all the time. Three months ago he had hated her, now he always wanted her around. He walked back upstairs.

"I'm guessing it was a no," Gabriella observed, seeing the disappointment on Troy's face.

"It was a maybe. But it'd probably gonna be a no."

"Don't worry," Gabriella comforted, going over to Troy to hug him. "It'll be fine."


"Troy, I've been thinking about Gabriella living here," Lucille began, "And I think that I might go talk to her mom today if she's home to see if she likes Gabriella, which she probably does."

"Okay," Troy responded happily. It was a Thursday evening. Gabriella had gone home to tell her mom she was sleeping over at Troy's house again, though she knew her mom would probably make her stay home and do stuff for her. So her mom was definitely home. "Her mom's home now."

"Alright. I'll leave now," Lucille said.

"Can I come?" asked Troy.

"I guess. Just stay out of the conversation because if you start begging, she's gonna probably yell at you if she is the way you think."

"Okay."

Troy and Lucille left immediately after that. When they got to Gabriella's door, Gabriella answered and whispered, "You have to be quiet. I'm gonna get in trouble if I have people over."

Troy nodded and silently embraced her.

"Can I talk to your mom?" Lucille.

"If she'll talk, sure," Gabriella replied. Then she called, "Mom, someone at the door wants to talk to you!"

"I guess I'm coming, but this better not be a joke!" Maria called back angrily. A minute later, she came downstairs. "Who are you and why are you at my house?" she asked Troy and his mom. To Troy, she questioned, "Are you that stupid kid who Gabriella always wants to be around?"

"Don't talk to my son like that," Lucille instructed. Now she knew that Troy was right about Gabriella's mom.

"WELL WHAT DO YOU WANT?" yelled Maria.

"I heard you leave Gabriella home alone all the time, and when you are home, you force her to do all this stuff and you yell at her," Lucille explained calmly.

"SHE NEVER DOES ANYTHING! SHE'S A STUPID SELFISH BRAT ALL THE TIME! SHE NEVER DOES EVERYTHING I WANT HER TO DO! RIGHT NOW, SHE'S SUPPOSED TO BE MAKING ME A DESSERT!" Then she turned to Gabriella. "GABRIELLA, GO, NOW! I WANT IT DONE IN FIFTEEN MINUTES!"

"This is what I want to talk to you about. Gabriella is in high school. You have no right to treat her like this. I was wondering if you would possibly let her live with us."

"WHAT? I NEED HER TO DO STUFF AROUND THE HOUSE. I'VE NEVER COOKED ANYTHING IN MY LIFE AND I'VE NEVER CLEANED, EITHER, AND I'M NOT GONNA START NOW!" Maria then caught sight of Gabriella, who was still standing in the living room. "YOU STUPID GIRL! GO NOW! I SAID FIFTEEN MINUTES! YOU'RE GONNA GET GROUNDED IF YOU DON'T!"

"Alright, I'm calling the police," Lucille decided.

"WHY, BECAUSE YOU DON'T THINK YOUR KIDS SHOULD DO STUFF FOR YOU? WHY DON'T YOU TRY IT WITH YOUR STUPID SON AND SEE HOW GOOD IT IS?"

"Because I don't want to treat him like that. Your kids aren't your servants."

"BUT I NEVER WANTED ANY KIDS! SO I'M MAKING A USE OUT OF HER!"

"Well I'm calling the police."


Twenty minutes later, the police came to Gabriella's door. Maria answered it. "WHY ARE YOU HERE?" she shouted at the policeman.

"I heard you don't treat your daughter right," the policeman answered. "Can I talk to her?"

"GABRIELLA, GET OUT HERE!"

Gabriella came into the living room. "I need to ask you a few questions," the policeman said. "How much time do you spend home alone per week?"

"Well usually I go to my boyfriend's house a lot because I like company, but if I didn't I would spend about five and a half days alone and five nights," Gabriella spoke.

"That is too much time," the police told Gabriella's mother. "She's not a legal adult yet, and you're basically letting her live on her own, and that's wrong."

"Well I go away a lot," Maria defended herself.

"What does your mom tell you to do when she is home?" questioned the policeman.

"She makes me do stuff for her and she yells at me to do it right away or else I'm grounded. And I have time limits to do stuff," Gabriella said.

"You're a liar," Maria said. "I never did that."

"And what does she make you do?" asked the policeman.

"Clean the whole house, make all the meals, do the dishes, get her snacks, get her something to drink, and go buy her stuff."

"That's not right," the policeman told Maria. "Mrs. Montez, you can't have your daughter live with you anymore.

She's going to have to find somewhere where she won't be forced to do all this stuff."

"BUT SHE'S LYING!"

"And you are going to be fined and maybe have to go to jail. But for now, Gabriella is leaving."


A month later, Gabriella had officially moved into Troy's house, where she was so much happier. She had a few chores, but that was it. Troy had stuff to do, too, but his parents did stuff to help around the the house, so everyone was doing something. Since the house was kind of small, Gabriella had to sleep in Troy's room, but she didn't mind because she was used to it from sleeping over all the time and she liked having someone to talk to if she couldn't go to sleep right away. At school, she made a few friends and people started bothering her less. She was happy that everything had worked out and she had a real family who was nice to her.